Sailors hockey beats Peak to Peak, advances

Steamboat faces No. 1 Regis today

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Steamboat Springs Hockey, 2008-09

Steamboat Springs High School hockey won in the first round of the state tournament Friday night in Denver, with a 4-1 victory against Peak to Peak.

The Sailors never trailed in the game and led almost immediately, scoring 28 seconds into the first period on a goal by Lance Ostrom.

Steamboat added two more in the second period at the Family Sports Center, as Eric Bonner and James Whelihan found the back of the net. Coach Jeff Ruff said the scores were "two beautiful goals," as Bonner ripped a shot through traffic high into the net, and Whelihan used good positioning to knock in a rebound.

"Those are the kind of goals we work for and practice," Ruff said.

The Puma's leading scorer on the season, forward Shay Longtain, picked up a shorthanded goal at the 10:51 mark of the second period for Peak to Peak's only score.

Steamboat had 28 shots on goal in the game compared to 15 for Peak to Peak. Ruff said goalie Matt Dawes made "a couple of huge saves to keep us in the game." Grant Ehrick tallied a score late in the third period for the 4-1 final result.

"Our guys did what we hoped they would do, and they came out and played a solid, solid game for us," Ruff said.

Steamboat, the No. 8 seed, now faces undefeated No. 1 seed Regis, who won the state tournament last year and hasn't lost in 23 games. The Sailors watched Regis' 8-1 win against Doherty earlier Friday.

Ruff said Steamboat will need to protect the puck and limit turnovers, but he's confident about the well-conditioned Sailors' chances in today's game, which starts at 5:40 p.m. in Denver.

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